Paul and Doris Boerigter

The Paul and Doris Boerigter Fund — part of our Community’s Endowment

Paul and Doris Boerigter are long-time supporters of our Community’s Endowment. They had been giving each year for over twenty years but recently decided they wanted to do something more.

Paul and Doris met while Paul was attending Hope College. Both were born and raised in Holland.

“The Holland community has been a very special place for us. We have always wanted to do more, and this was the right time. Looking beyond our church and the nonprofits we’ve always supported, we knew we wanted to provide more financial resources through the Community Foundation. It’s the right organization to distribute the funds. They know the local issues and work with trusted partners to invest in the community’s future.”

Paul and Doris Boerigter — photo credit: deVries photography in Zeeland, MI.

In 2014, they established the Paul and Doris Boerigter Fund, a named unrestricted fund that is part of our Community’s Endowment, and committed to give each year to grow the fund.

“We made the decision together, it’s our fund. We wanted to do it while we were living so that our children would know what this community has meant to us. We wanted our children and grandchildren to witness our commitment of giving — to recognize the responsibility and the opportunity — to contribute to the programs that will improve quality of life and help define our community in the years to come.”

“My mother was one of ten children raised on a farm south of Holland. She dreamed of going to college to be a nurse but due to the passing of her father at an early age, she and her siblings were fortunate to complete the 8th grade,” Paul remembers. “She didn’t just encourage us — she expected that my three brothers and I would attend college.”

Paul and Doris are also passionate about education and believe that educating our youth is paramount to grow, strengthen and develop a prosperous community. Paul and Doris raised four college-educated children and have financially provided resources to help further the education of their twelve grandchildren and now their great grandchildren. It is their legacy.

Doris passed away unexpectedly a few months after the establishment of their fund.

“We were married for almost 65 years. We were a great team. Together, we endeavored to teach our children to be givers because we have been so generously blessed. This embodies our Christian faith.”

The couple first learned about giving from their own parents. Growing up, they had part time jobs and part of their earnings went to the church. “When our children were young, Sunday after church was family time. We talked about how to live, how to be good citizens and good stewards of what the Lord had given us. To do that, you need to lead by example and be productive in society and in your community,” noted Paul. “Our parents instilled that in us and now we hope to pass that on to our children and grandchildren. We’re extremely proud of them.”

Paul and Doris wanted to establish an unrestricted fund to support the Community’s Endowment. “We didn’t want to restrict our gift because there are so many needs that we don’t know about. We hoped to raise awareness of the need for resources, help enrich the lives of others, embrace the heritage of our community and empower the experts at the Community Foundation to use our gift to best meet our community’s needs. They get the big picture. It’s what they do,” said Paul.

“Our multi-cultural society has changed so dramatically during my lifetime. The Community’s Endowment enables us to respond to its ever-changing needs in order to maintain a strong and healthy community.” — Paul Boerigter

Originally featured in the Community Foundation’s 2014 Annual Report. While this was written by CFHZ’s Communications Manager Nicole Paquette in 2015, we believe that stories of generosity are timeless and always relevant.

Note: Paul Boerigter passed away in March 2016 at the age of 88. We think of Paul and Doris often and are grateful that their legacy of giving will live on forever through their unrestricted fund at the Community Foundation.